MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Vitamin K injection. Newborn infant is given an oral dose of vitamin K. The syringe, without needle, is introduced into the mouth. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting. It is found in the diet in green leafy vegetables, egg yolk, cheese, pork and liver. Vitamin K is also manufactured by bacteria which live in the intestine. Newborn infants lack the intestinal bacteria that produce vitamin K and are thus routinely given supplements to prevent deficiency. It is now standard practice to administer this vitamin orally not long after birth, as there is evidence to show that intramuscular injection may increase the incidence of infant leukaemia.
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